Friday, May 05, 2006

Warm rains and black flies

The day dawned early today with little fog, a clear sky above and a temperature already in the sixties. A surprise for us and and a welcome sight as there's much to do over the next few days. Gail will be busy planting and continuing to get things organized. The gardens still look messy from last fall's as yet unraked leaves. It's always a mystery how we can rake and vacuum so many leaves each fall and still have truckloads more each spring. We compost them all so it's no loss, just very time consuming.

Maple leaves seem to have some special component which encourages growth when we include them in each hole we plant. One time I was told that's because maple trees have a very long root system and the roots draw minor elements from down deep. I don't know that it's true but it makes for a nice thought.

The hellbores continue to produce more flowers like the one I have included here. Despite the recent rains I put the sprinkler on the foundation garden yesterday and by nightfall more hellebores were in bloom including some pure white this time. I think I'll move some to the foundation headwall so they can be seen looking up. Crawling on hands and knees and turning petal cups skyward to see the beuaty is a bit of a chore.

The bloodroots came out yesterday. I noticed them open in their glory around noon but by the time I returned with my camera at 5:30 they had already closed shop for the day. They have a special personality and show that they are in charge. We don't have any growing wild around here but I have always loved them since growing up in Woodstock where they abound. An elderly man and his wife who attended a talk last year heard me say I liked them and brought a gallon pot full in trade for a couple daylilies. I think he was happy with the trade.... I know I am. They are the single variety.

The young bear spotted at the edge of our property the other night has found the area too good to leave as it was spotted again yesterday. I'm not sure what it is finding to eat that's keeping it here. I guess I removed the bird feeders just in time. A neighbor at the pond reported that the osprey I was enjoying so much last weekend has moved to his place at the Peacham Pond fishing access. The Fish and Wildlife folks stocked the pond as they do every year. They used to take the hatchery fish out into the pond and dump them in but now the trucks unload at the fishing access. The fish stay there for several days before they figure out they really are swimming in 360 acres of water. Chuck says the osprey is having no trouble finding a meal. At least the trout in the pond here at the house are spared for a while.

We received another hosta order yesterday from a friend in Wisconsin. There are dozens of hosta dealers on the Internet but Northern Grown Perennials has some nice looking stock. They also sell some great looking daylily roots. I have five plants of Komodo Dragon filling a five gallon bucket and they'll get planted later today. I wish I had bought them last year so they would stop visitors like the giant Sum and Substance, Parhelion and Lady Isobel do. Only so much time each day and I guess that's a reminder to get going here. Hope your day and weekend are pleasant. If for some reason you can't get out and walk your gardens, go to our website and check out the Virtual Tour links. These are just pictures of our gardens over the years but some are special.

So with great gardening wishes, be well and go plant something!

George Africa

1 comment:

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